Detroit-area cancer doctor is sentenced to 45 years in prison for fraud
Terming the scheme as “horrific” a judge has sentenced a Detroit-area cancer doctor to 45 years in Prison on Friday for collecting millions in insurance companies while poisoning over 500 patients through needless treatments that destroyed their health.
Paul Borman, the U.S District Judge this week heard stories of fried organs and brittle bones as patients, in a chilling manner described effects caused by excessive chemotherapy at the hands of Dr. Farid Fata.
Borman said, “Fata shut down whatever compassion he had as a doctor and switched it to making money”.
Just moments earlier, Judge Borman had called it a “huge, horrific series of criminal acts”.
Fata, aged 50 did not offer any excuses before getting his punishment. Stone faced all week in court, he broke down repeatedly in loud sobs as he begged for mercy on Friday.
“I misused my talents, yes and permitted this sin to enter me because of power and greed” Fata said. “My quest for power is self-destructive”.
He said his patients went to him looking for “compassionate care’ but “I failed, yes I failed”.
Last year, Fata pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy. He did not strike a deal with prosecutors, so Borman needed much of the week in order to hear details regarding the treatments. Patients and relatives hired a bus to get to court to watch.
“He preyed on our trust, our exhaustion, our fears”, said Ellen Piligian, whose late father, a doctor, was administered powerful drugs he didn’t need for a tumor in his shoulder.
Catherine Dick, federal prosecutor asked for a 175-year prison sentence, while Fata sought 25 years.
It is not mob justice. It is appropriate for this crime”, Dick told the judge making a referral to the extraordinary request.
Outside court, majority of his former patients, dressed in yellow as a show of solidarity but they were disappointed with the punishment.
“Prosecutors did a fantastic job-and he got 45 years. It’s a lifetime sentence for the rest of us”, said Monica Flagg, 53, who was treated for cancer before doctors examining a broken leg found she had no cancer. “What about all the grace markers out there that all the victims’ families have to look at?” – http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/judge-sentence-detroit-area-cancer-doctor-fraud-scheme-32353615 (read this link for more information)
Defense attorney Christopher Andreoff described Fata, a native of Lebanon, as a broken man without family after his wife and children left the U.S while the case was pending.
Liz Lupo, who held the picture of her late mother, Marianne Lupo, said “But his family is still alive. I lost my only family” outside the courthouse.
She said that the sentence “was not justice at all”.
The government identified 553 victims along with insurance companies. Insurers and Medicare paid at least $ 17 million.
Fata will be given credit for the 2 years served while in custody since he was arrested in 2013. His stay in the Federal prison system could be shortened with good behavior.
His clinic, Michigan Hematology Oncology, had 7 offices in Detroit area and a related business performing tests to look for cancer. Testifying for the government, 2 experts from Harvard medical school said they were troubled after looking at a small portion of his patients’ files.